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Author Topic: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks  (Read 33648 times)

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Optimus Prime

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2014, 08:52:18 »
Found this little gem to add a little (spent nuclear) fuel to the fire so to speak:

http://milconrandc.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/chatham-urban-nuclear-waste-dump-and.html

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2011, 21:12:39 »
Hi Glow-in-the-dark and welcome.

You are right - the 4 big submarines are polaris boats, Resolution, Renown, Revenge and Repulse. Don't know which ones are which though. As for the three submarines on the right of the picture, I think the outer one is HMS Swiftsure. The Swiftsures were shorter and wider than the previous Churchill Class. She was decommissioned after cracks were found in her reactor compartment during a routine refit and refuelling and although probably safe, she wasn't safe enough. I think the inner boat is a Churchill Class. It won't be Courageous because she is at Devonport. Pretty sure Valiant is there as well. The reason I think that is because the Churchill Class were bigger than the Valiant Class. Dreadnought was a hybrid, the forward part was a prototype of the Valiant Class and the after part was that of an american Skipjack class.

Dreadnought coming to Chatham? Never - there's nowhere to put her and it would cost a huge amount of money to make her safe for the public to visit.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Glow in the dark

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2011, 09:29:00 »
Hi,

The ones on the left look like the old Polaris Subs, the one in the centre of the three to the right could be Dreadnought as she was 20' shorter than the subsequent hunter killer Subs.

She is laid up at Rosyth to allow radioactive elements to decay to safe levels.

I worked on Dreadnought on her refit in Chatham and her decommissioning.

It would be good if she could be brought back to Chatham for display as our first nuclear Sub, but I doubt this will ever happen.


LenP

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2011, 20:15:55 »
Quote
Dreadnought is still around, she's laid up with her hatches welded shut at Rosyth.

Is she one of these?
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=tb34pygqc0fj&lvl=17&dir=0&sty=b&eo=1&where1=Rosyth%2C%20Fife&form=LMLTCC

Glow in the dark

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2011, 13:17:15 »
Hi all,

There was to my knowledge no nuclear waste stored or buried on St Mary’s Island, but it was a dumping ground for asbestos.  The asbestos was all removed prior to the MOD moving out, and is seen being removed from the Yard in the pictures of the train with wagons covered in green sheets.

Low level radioactive waste was buried in the Dockyard near Gillingham Pier.
Medium level radioactive waste (pumps etc) was stored in the warehouse in the same location pending offsite disposal.

The spent nuclear fuel was stored in the Core Pond, and placed directly in the nuclear flasks when Windscale (now Sellafield) had capacity to deal with it.

It was possible to see Cherenkov’s Glow (I suggest you Google this) in the Core Pond when spent fuel was stored.  The blue glow is caused by negatively charged Beta particles travelling faster than the speed of light in water.

The nuclear waste was all handled, stored and disposed of in a professional and safe manner by very well trained professionals.

Thankfully the Amonium Nitrate storage proposal was dismissed.

seafordpete

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2011, 09:30:53 »
It is stable and will oonly burn under normal circumstances to get it to explode (high order detonation) needs the addition of other substances and a primary charge like a chunk of plastic explosive to kick it off.

Offline Bobdonk

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2011, 00:55:09 »
Actually, am nitrate on its own is pretty much fine, it's only if it comes into contact with other flammables that you have a problem. I wouldnt worry, im sure they know what theyre doing...... :s

The Norway bomber and gunman Anders Behring Breivik used AM Nitrate, I believe.

http://www.utoya.co.uk/?p=153

Offline ChrisExiledFromStrood

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2011, 18:00:51 »
The staged crash into a nuclear flask was a different sort: the ones used to carry spent nuclear fuel from power stations, and occasionally highlighted by green protesters. Photos and links on the Wikipedia page here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_flask, and videos easily found on youtube as mentioned above.
As far as I recall, the staged crash was in response to those safety concerns highlighted by the greens, rather than any minor derailment in the dodgy sidings at Gillingham.

The wagons for the Chatham subs traffic were a whole lot bigger: there are photos in this train forum thread: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=24074

Offline helcion

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2011, 22:42:26 »

Barrowboy    -

Quote
I seem to remember, possibly following the derailment at Gillingham, that the railway authorities were keen to show the public how safe these flasks were and sent an old diesel loco at full speed directly into the side of (presumably an empty) flask.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJflu7z4QyI&playnext=1&list=PLCAD004A82507A1E0

I've seen longer versions,  but this clip gives a good idea of what went on.

I think the crash was staged by the nuclear industry as a demonstration of flask safety.

Cheers

Helcion

Barrowboy

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2011, 20:17:08 »
Chris-exiled from Strood seems to sum up the situation well. Regarding the special trains taking spent nuclear fuel rods in special "crash proof" flasks. I seem to remember, possibly following the derailment at Gillingham, that the railway authorities were keen to show the public how safe these flasks were and sent an old diesel loco at full speed directly into the side of (presumably an empty) flask. I remember being quiet impressed watching the film as the flask was perfectly intact after the impact.

Offline man-of-kent

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Re: Free stuff! Anyone wants it, come and get it...
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2011, 22:08:36 »
Here is the dumping area:

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=51.396024~0.551651&style=h&lvl=19&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=24345059&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1

And here is the warehouse that was in use during the war etc.  It's one my brother worked in so is safe, anything that was stored here etc must have been safe!

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=51.397579~0.553609&style=h&lvl=19&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=24345059&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1
Hi Kyn
When I worked in the dockyard during the early 1970s, that warehouse was the Oil Store. The low level waste building was the next one just north of it. I know that for sure because our gang spent a few hours working in there and we all had to wear these radio activity detector pen shaped things in our top pockets.
Derek Brice

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2011, 22:57:23 »
Re the point about HMS Dreadnought. I always thought that particular boat was towed to Chatham for cleaning up after an accident at the new refitting facility at Devonport ended up with the inside of the boat being contaminated. Dreadnought is still around, she's laid up with her hatches welded shut at Rosyth.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline ChrisExiledFromStrood

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2011, 11:02:05 »
So to sum up the trains...
a. when the dockyard was operating, there were occasional workings of spent fuel from the subs travelling in the dead of night* with military escorts. Those wagons were much much bigger than the ones still used today for power station waste, with a sort of double bogie arrangement at each end. The escort staff rode in converted mainline coaches.
b. after it closed, there were the trains pictured earlier in the thread, carrying low-level waste for landfill. The sort that's basically harmless after a few years in the ground.

*there was one incident where the train derailed in Gillingham sidings and was there for all to see the following morning in broad daylight, sometime around 1980. Not a serious derailment, probably just fell off a dodgy bit of old siding at low speed. Shame I didn't have a camera then.

seafordpete

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2011, 12:58:53 »
Beat me to it scpeel. It is used for fertilizer on farms. The other point is that by the late 1950s "Radioactive Waste" had been extended to include stuff like luminous watch dials, compass roses and the tritium gas in gunsights. Also any rag , clothing etc used in cleaning those items. It wasn't all Homer Simpson glow in the dark isotopes although a friend who was in the monitoring team told me that a small isotope used in X rays was dropped off the conning tower of one of the subs into one of the dry docks and never found, probably due to high background radiation.
At the security barrier for Nuclear Towers was a large warning sign that read on the lines of " The Nuclear emergency alarm is......... On sounding all designated personell will report to their allocated statios, all other persons are to report to St Mary's church."  Always struck me as amusing, sureley they could have picked a better assembly point

scpeel87

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Re: Radio-active waste Chatham Docks
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2011, 12:50:06 »

Quote:-
I think Merc mentioned it earlier, the other dangerous stuff thats planned to be stored down there is 2500 tonnes of ammonium nitrate. Theres a planning application being decided at the moment.



Thats great Chathams very own SS Richard Montgomerry !

Actually, am nitrate on its own is pretty much fine, it's only if it comes into contact with other flammables that you have a problem. I wouldnt worry, im sure they know what theyre doing...... :s

 

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